This photograph forms part of the series “What lies beneath”. South America is known to be the region of the world’s largest amount of Lithium (58%). The “Lithium Triangle” lies in the Andean southwest corner, between Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
Although Lithium is crucial in the transition to clean energy, its extraction presents several environmental issues that are slowly affecting the area. The 18-month procedure could eventually induce a water sustainability crisis: 1 ton of lithium requires 500,000 gallons of water.
The lithium industry should approach this limited resource with environmental practices, that will insure the future of water and salt sources. The series aims to show “what lies above” the lithium resources: salt flats that will eventually be mined for the extraction of the mineral.
This image was taken in Chile’s Salar de Atacama in the Atacama Desert. Remaining water supplies are being affected by potential chemical contamination used in lithium’s extraction and increasing water shortage used in agricultural activities.
The aerial perspective of the image takes the viewer into a visual voyage of wonder, speculating on the image’s scale and questioning the “what” of the image.
Medium: Aerial photography - Giclée Hahnemüle print w/option of frame with anti-reflective art glass
No. of Editions available: 4/25
Country of Origin: Chile